Memorial Day: Remembering All Who Have Served

Memorial Day: Remembering All Who Have Served

Memorial Day
Young boy from Alaska pours soil from home on his father’s grave in the National Cemetery. Memorial Day. Getty Images.

Memorial Day is greeted eagerly as the first three-day weekend of summer. Since life is for the living, then family picnics and time with friends is a weekend very well spent.

But over the course of the three days, it is fitting to remember why the United States has a Memorial Day holiday.

Starting in 1868, May 30 was deemed a day of remembrance.  Called Decoration Day at the time, the custom grew that May 30 was a day to remember those who died in the Civil War by decorating their graves.

In 1882 the day was re-christened Memorial Day, and as World War I veterans returned from Europe, it gradually became a day to remember all of our military, no matter the time in which they served.

Often-Forgotten Heroes

Over the years, America Comes Alive has published some stories of remarkable heroes, so as our way of remembering, Memorial Day, I am going to provide links to a few who have been featured.  Reading their stories is both moving and inspiring.

Many to Remember

Charles David, Jr., one of the first African-Americans in the Coast Guard. He gave his life to save others.

Elizabeth Thorn was not in the military but she was the wife of the undertaker in Gettysburg. Because her husband was away fighting for the Union, it fell to her to bury the dead though she was six months pregnant.


Bill Mauldin

Bill MauldinSgt William Carney, Medal of Honor Recipient member of the Color Guard who took decisive action at Fort Wagner.

Cartoonist Bill Mauldin served during World War II. In his characters Willie and Joe, he created characters who represented the rank-and-file. In the process he helped lift morale at a difficult time.

Have a good Memorial Day.

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